Disney has dropped director James Gunn from the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise over a string of inappropriate tweets that joked about pedophilia and rape, Disney said in a statement. Gunn is a staunch critic of President Trump, and his supporters dredged up the old tweets that led to Gunn's firing.
Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement to CBS News, "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
Gunn's old tweets from 2008 to 2011 resurfaced on Thursday by the conservative website Daily Caller, and included offensive jokes like, "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place" and "The best thing about being raped is when you're done being raped and it's like 'whew this feels great, not being raped!'"
On Thursday evening, he made a statement in which he seemed to say he has apologized already for the jokes, saying, "In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people." He also seemed to attribute his jokes in part to personal unhappiness in his past. He said, "I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don't anymore. I don't blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all."
Gunn's old tweets also joked about the Holocaust, the 9/11 attacks and AIDS. Gunn was behind "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." He was also supposed to direct "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."